A Man

A message from Robert Charles Medforth’s niece…

You may be interested in a poem that I came into possession from my mother’s things. It was written to Joyce Medforth, Bob’s (Robert Medforth) widow, they had only been married for a short time before he went overseas. According to the writing on the poem, it was written by his buddies at the airbase in Belgium.

                                 

A Man

There are men who fly the trackless skies
Who rove the seven seas.
They win all fame and glory
While floating through the breeze

There’s men that hold the font lines fast
And for their country dying,
There’s unsung lads not far behind
Who keep the aircraft flying.

We too have come to fight for home
For Victory – Freedom – Peace
We do not look for glories, fame
But work that wars may cease.

Yes, Joyce, he gave his life for you
For me, his family, friends
For people in this darkened world
In every walk and trend.

He gave his all and asked for naught
A hero to us all
“Where’s Robert, where is Goose and George”
Of death he had no fear.

He thought not of himself but us
“Look after them”, he said
“I’m O.K. look after them”
And now our Bob is dead.

Dead? ah no – they never die,
He’s left this world tis true,
But there in heaven he reigns with god
Where skies are always blue.

An unsung hero here on earth
His rightful place he holds up there
He’s ranked up with the best of them
As in our hearts down here.
   

Robbie

A very heartbreaking image

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Bob Medforth

Text version

Hi Pierre,

That’s an amazing find of the pictures of Bob Medforth’s grave and funeral procession.

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I identified the rear pallbearer as my father, George White right away.

The picture she found of Bob’s grave appears to have been taken at a later date than the pictures I have of Bob’s grave. The inscription on the cross is different. There is snow on the ground and there are also many more crosses in the cemetery.

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As Jennifer says, it is truly a very heartbreaking image. The participants look devastated.

I recall my dad say how Bob’s death was devastating to his crew members. Bob was 36 years old when he was killed. He was much older than the rest of the boys who were all in their early twenties. He was very well respected and he was their moral leader and mentor of sorts. I recall my dad saying Bob influenced him a lot with his politics. Bob was from Saskatchewan, and he was apparently a very strong supporter of the CCF (Co-operative Commonwealth Federation), the predecessor to the NDP (New Democratic Party of Canada).

I’ve looked through my dad’s old pictures and I don’t think I have any more shots that I can positively identify as Bob Medford. I’ve often wondered if the fellow on the right in the following photo is Bob.

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I have many pictures of my dad’s crew. They stayed together pretty much for the duration of the war after landing in Normandy. This one, showing some of the boys, was taken by their tent in Normandy. The three boys in Jennifer’s picture carrying Bob’s coffin are in this shot. I’m not sure who the fellow middle row left with the white shirt is. Middle row right is “Whick” Whickson from Toronto. My father George White from Kenora Ontario is in the front row centre.

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Pierre, I noticed Bob Medforth’s niece left a comment on you website blog last June. Why not update her on your latest information this Remembrance Day?

Cheers,

Mark White